Five-year sentence for syringe attack

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limerickcircuitcourt A 29-year-old man has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for threatening to stab a shop worker with a syringe.

Damien O’Brien, with addresses at Singland Park, Garryowen and St Munchin’s Street, St Mary’s Park, was found guilty of assaulting a staff member at Gleeson’s Spar on Henry Street, and of threatening Seaghan Gleeson with a syringe outside Gleeson’s Spar on Catherine Street.

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Both offences occurred on the evening of October 10 2013.

When the jury of eight men and four women returned unanimous guilty verdicts on both charges, Mr O’Brien, who had denied the charges, shouted: “I am an innocent man”.

While he was being led from court by Gardaí, he continued to protest, saying there was “no justice system” and that “they can’t keep me locked up forever”.

Earlier in the three-day trial, prosecution counsel John O’Sullivan told the court that Mr O’Brien arrived into the Catherine Street shop shortly after 5pm on the evening in question, just minutes after the incident in the Henry Street branch.

Mr O’Sullivan stated that the accused was observed by staff putting an item of confectionary into his jacket pocket, Mr Gleeson and another staff member then followed him outside and confronted him.

He added that Mr O’Brien then became aggressive, “produced a syringe and said ‘I’ll kill you, I’ll stab you’”.